Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

RE: mad speaker decision

I would try the various wide baffle dynamic speakers such as the Tannoy Prestige series already mentioned, Devore O series, Audio Note, Harbeth and ATC, Trnner and Freidl RA.

You could also try Martin Logan hybrids (which are much better today than they used to be in terms of integrating the dynamic woofer with the panel).

It largely depends on your budget and your taste.

A single driver speaker such as the Quads, Soundlabs, King Sounds speakers all have a certain spooky level of clarity that is difficult to approach. Some being single drivers they also possess a level of coherence that is rarely matched with dynamic cone speakers. On the other hand I never really get a sense of dynamic impact that instruments possess in life nor a "breath of life" sensation. They sort of present a homogeneous sound across albums. It's great sound it's just rarely holds my attention for very long. Sameness leads me to bordedom from them.

But cabinets will always add a degree of cabinet resonance unless you can really get the positioned right. HE though can combat that to a large degree because the sound (like those from horns) seem to leap from the cabinet pushing away the cabinet and generating that exciting sound that you get.

If you have a bigger room and more money and can take a big speaker then the big Horns are probably my first choice. If you have a normal sized room and a normal sized budget I would look to the speakers I mentioned above. The Tannoy Kensington SE(or above), DeVore O/96, and Audio Note E would be the primary targets.

I am on my second Audio Note E and had their J and K models previously. The E is a bit more attractive (objectively) because it is much less expensive, more sensitive (dynamic) and just as good as some of the more expensive options like the Harbeth 40.1 or 40.2 or DeVore O93/096.

The modest horns do have a jump factor but the problem with some of them is horn shout that can be fatiguing in the treble rather quickly.

So the trick is finding something that is relatively high efficiency with the dynamic jump factor that doesn't have horn shout and doesn't cost a killer amount of money. The AN E and J come in about 10 versions starting at $3900 and $2900 which in this hi-fi world isn't completely insane and they will hang in with any 2 way I've heard from anyone else at any price. I'd spend a bit more than the basic models as the basic models only come in black ash while you have 20 finish models for the next one up.

But even the basic AN J/D at $2900 does very well even under show conditions.

I would start with the least expensive option. I can for example rave a lot about the Trenner and Freidl RA but it's $25,000US plus and while I like the Harbeths they too are in the $14k range. It starts getting crazy fast. Even the Tannoy Kensington is over $10k. You might like all of these more of course but the $2900 Audio Note J/D is difficult to beat.






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